You can avoid Congress, but not the civil service

New York Times: Landscapes Under Siege. The administrative review board for the Interior Department has halted oil exploration in Utah’s Dome Plateau, and “suggested that the bureau had ‘capriciously’ ignored environmental reviews mandated by federal law.” The editorial concludes:

Nobody expects the administration to retreat from its basic theology that aggressive exploration of the public domain is necessary to achieve independence from the energy-producing nations of the Persian Gulf. Perhaps, though, as part of the larger debate over a national energy strategy, the Senate will force the administration to proceed with much greater care.

Yeah, somehow I doubt that the administration that doesn’t even invite the Democratic leadership of Congress to national security meetings will pay much heed to the Senate. I think that the best chance we have for protection against the strong-arm anti-environmental tactics of the Bush administration is the civil servants who have to carry out the policy. Based on this action, they have shown they can do the job.